(CNN) - In his first public statements since his rambling, improvised remarks at last week's Republican National Convention, Clint Eastwood told a California newspaper that Mitt Romney's campaign wasn't able to approve his speech, since he wasn't sure what he was going to say until he walked out on stage.
"They vet most of the people, but I told them, 'You can't do that with me, because I don't know what I'm going to say,'" Eastwood told the Carmel Pine Cone. Eastwood served as the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea in the 1980s.
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Eastwood said ahead of his speech, the only guidance he could offer Romney's campaign was "to reassure them that everything I would say would be nice about Mitt Romney."
During Eastwood's remarks, delivered directly ahead of Sen. Marco Rubio's introduction of Romney on the final night of the GOP convention, the legendary actor and director addressed an empty chair that he said represented President Barack Obama.
At times, Eastwood sent the crowd into laughing fits when he pretended Obama was offering colorful objections.
"What do you want me to tell Romney?" Eastwood asked the empty chair. "I can't tell him to do that to himself ... you're getting as bad as Biden ... of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic Party. Kind of a grin with a body behind it ..."
In the interview published online Friday, Eastwood said the chair was a last-minute decision made backstage.
"There was a stool there, and some fella kept asking me if I wanted to sit down," Eastwood said, according to the newspaper. "When I saw the stool sitting there, it gave me the idea. I'll just put the stool out there and I'll talk to Mr. Obama and ask him why he didn't keep all of the promises he made to everybody."
The intention of his speech, Eastwood said, was threefold.
"That not everybody in Hollywood is on the left, that Obama has broken a lot of the promises he made when he took office, and that the people should feel free to get rid of any politician who's not doing a good job," he told the Carmel Pine Cone.
"President Obama is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," Eastwood continued. "Romney and Ryan would do a much better job running the country, and that's what everybody needs to know. I may have irritated a lot of the lefties, but I was aiming for people in the middle."
"But I didn't make up my mind exactly what I was going to say until I said it," he said.
That much seemed clear during his remarks, which were not delivered using a teleprompter and at times seemed to ramble in multiple directions.
Reaction to Eastwood's remarks was mixed but discussion of #eastwooding immediately went viral on the internet. While many observers said he overshadowed Romney's acceptance speech later than event, Romney's campaign said his remarks were "a break from all the political speeches."
"Judging an American icon like Clint Eastwood through a typical political lens doesn't work," a Romney campaign aide said shortly after the speech.
Eastwood himself gave a similar assessment in the interview.
"They've got this crazy actor who's 82 years old up there in a suit," he said. "I was a mayor, and they're probably thinking I know how to give a speech, but even when I was mayor I never gave speeches. I gave talks."
"It was supposed to be a contrast with all the scripted speeches, because I'm Joe Citizen," Eastwood added. "I'm a movie maker, but I have the same feelings as the average guy out there."
CNN's Jim Acosta, Halimah Abdullah and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.
"A Man's got to Know his Limitations!"
Folks, show some compassion. He has been around longer than most of us and probably really believed he was talking to someone sitting in that chair even though everyone else saw nothing. He should be encouraged to go seek some evaluation and help.
Get_Real...just a reminder what is not a hoax:
30 straight months of positive private sector job growth after the nation was losing 800,000 jobs per month.
20 plus years at Bain, Mitt admitted to creating 100K jobs....3.5 years at US President 4.6 million jobs created
Save the US Auto Industry
The facts speak for themselves. Obama is the real deal.
If Clint Eastwood thinks he is really "Joe Citizen" with all his millions of dollars in the bank, (an American bank, I assume) then I've got a bridge to sell you.
He DOES REALIZE that he is not dirty harry or the outlaw jose wales doesn't he? Just another dumb actor. Also thanks for your heroic military service tough guy. Enlisted in the army during the Korean War and was stationed in California as a lifeguard.
I'm not surprised that Clint E support mitt as they both white guys ,the old timer.
Clint owned the socialist obama. I have never seen the libs so upset so his speech obviously worked. He got his point across loud and clear that obama was an empty suit and a marxist phony.
Clint: Shhhhhhh. It will be alright. America's a tough country. We survived President Bush for two terms and we can survive two of President Obama.
Agree with Johnny B WMD and the Iraqi war were the greatest hoax on the American people which cost thousands of lives and trillions of dollars-perhaps Eastwood is disappointed in Obama because he is getting us out of wars-or maybe it is that Eastwood was the biggest hoax on the Republican party
Clint owned the socialist obama. I have never seen the libs so upset so his speech obviously worked. He got his point across loud and clear that obama was an empty suit and a marx1st phony.
So Eastwood has outed Obama as a Closet republican?
Did something else happen in Tampa besides Eastwood's "speech?" Why do Republicans HATE President Obama?
sure....the strip clubs and bars announced record revenues from the party of "values" visit.
As for Mr Eastwood, just like the deceased Mr NRA Charlton Heston..I like your work, but your politics suck and you might want to keep them to yourself so you don't embarrass yourself more
I have just destroyed all my Eastwood movies and never, ever plan to see another one. I have lost all respect for this man.
Clint was great, he was right, and Americans loved his performance.
Don't know which is more enjoyable...his performance, or seeing the leftie libs squirm afterwards : >)
He was later quoted as saying "I just wish Toby would learn his name, that's all."
Clint was brilliant.
Obama is all smoke and mirrors so, yes, he is a big hoax.
Too bad some of you are still drinking the Kool-Aid.
Bronco Billy calls Obama a hoax?
Keep talking, Clint. Keep revealing your contempt and disrespect for our sitting President and his attempts to lift up the coomon person. In response, the American moviegoing public will show you how much it disapproves of your angry and pathetic thoughts by refusing to view your movies. In the past, I eagerly awaited your new films. Not anymore.
The only thing I could think of while watching Eastwood was:
1. How could the RNC put him on primetime TV slot just ahead of Romney, and;
2. How creepy and disjointed his 'routine' was.....
More than anything else, he looked like a confused, old man. Hate to say it.....but that's what he looked like.
Don – Sure you destroyed all of your movies. We believe you like we believe in the Easter Bunny.
Good to know Mitt and his crew are willing to make decisions without any idea of what they are agreeing to. Builds confidence.
The Good has exited stage left. The Bad and the Ugly are standing center-stage talking to an empty chair.
Oh my. The respect I used to feel for his talent has faded to pity for the shell of a man blowing to the far right.
Yes... Clint is just your average Joe. Him and Chuck Norris should start an Average Joe club and talk about the 1000 years of darkness coming.
Clint was great and he did not need a teleprompter as Obama can't say anything without one. Someone has to write everything he says, because he is nothing more than a community organizer and America has been scammed.